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25 of The Best Elf On the Shelf Ideas for Christmas

These Elf on the Shelf ideas are sure to be a hit with your kids this Christmas.
Picture of Elf on The Shelf doll sitting on Christmas tree
Updated: December 1, 2022

Are your kids catching onto the same hiding spots for your Elf on the Shelf year after year? These fun Elf on the Shelf ideas will add a little extra something special to the holidays this year.

More: 75 of the Best Elf on the Shelf Names

Turn An Egg Into Candy

Watch and see what your elf friend can do overnight! All you need is a few eggs, sprinkles, and Kinder eggs to make magic come to life. 

An Early Present

Have your elf bring a special holiday book as a gift and hide it on the bookshelf.


This is perfect timing, especially if your kids are excited by the return of Elsa and Anna in Frozen 2.

Piggy Bank Bandit

Uh oh, the elf found the piggy bank!

Baby Elf Doo Doo

If you’re sick of Baby Shark but your kids just won’t quit, this is the perfect surprise for them to find.

Taco Tuesday

Having a taco night? Wrap up your elf in a tortilla and watch the kids rejoice when they find them on a plate.

Snowball Fight

Set up a snowball fight with marshmallows for snowballs and a fort, powdered sugar snow, and an equal-sized toy to fight with.

Giving Elves

Encourage selfless giving during the holiday season and have your kids gather up old toys to be donated to an organization or center of your choosing.

Melted Snowman

Naughty elf! Set up a shallow bowl with water, googly eyes, buttons, and twigs for a melted snowman.

Making S’Mores

Did you know elves love s’mores? Set the elf up with graham crackers, chocolate, a marshmallow, and a flameless tea light candle.

All Tied Up

Looks like Iron Man and Captain America weren’t getting along again! 

Rock Climbing

Is your elf a little bored just sitting around? Build them a gummy bear wall to climb!

Golf Game

Fore! Set up your elves for a game of mini-golf on green wrapping paper for grass, beads or Smarties candies for a ball, and candy cane clubs.

Toilet Paper String

Grab an empty toilet paper roll, two pieces of string, a bit of tape, and you’ve got yourself a perfect elf swing! 

Painting Class

Have your elf teach a seasonal painting class to your dolls or action figures! 

Cookie Time

Get the elf set up and ready in the kitchen to make a batch of seasonal cookies.


Prove to your kids that you, and the elf, are with the times!

Hot Chocolate Bar

Have your elf get a hot cocoa bar prepared for a night of movie watching!

Selfie Station

It looks like the elf set up the perfect selfie station with a Santa beard and hat.

Cookie Thief

Someone stole the cookies from the cookie jar, no surprise it was the elf!

Shower Time

Rub a dub dub, it’s shower time for the elf!

Hidden Treats

Hide small seasonal treats under an array of cups and bowls on the floor!

Caged Elf

Uh oh! Looks like the elf got caged by a few wild animals. 

Reindeer Poop

Some chocolate cereal or candies make the perfect reindeer poop. 

Sprinkle Angels

Sprinkles or powdered sugar makes the perfect backdrop for angels.

Looking for more creative holiday ideas? Here are our favorite 12 Days of Christmas Gift Ideas That Don't Involve Four Calling Birds or A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Pin these Elf on The Shelf Ideas for when you start decorating for Christmas: 

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Jacqueline Weiss

About Jacqueline

Based in Los Angeles, Jacqueline is a freelance writer and social media strategist. She… Read more

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